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School for the Deaf robotics team wins national championship

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

SULPHUR, Okla. – Oklahoma School for the Deaf students Russell Fewel of Sulphur and Jarven Reininger of Midwest City recently won a national championship at the second annual VEX IQ Challenge for deaf and hard of hearing teams.

The Thunderbolts team, composed of Fewel and Reininger, earned the most points during tournament teamwork matches to become the Teamwork Champions for 2020-2021. 

Three OSD middle school robotics teams participated in the virtual tournament hosted by National Technical Institute for the Deaf Regional STEM Center.

VEX Robotics’ competitions and programs are managed by the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation.

IQ is VEX’s division for middle school competitors. 

OSD students competed against teams from schools for the deaf in other states, including Texas, Florida and North Carolina.

"This was a very challenging year,” OSD Robotics Coach Kym Vance said. “Our robotics teams only had four weeks to build and program robots because of COVID-19.”

“This was also our first experience with virtual competitions. I am so proud of Russell and Jarven and am excited that they are now qualified to compete in the state tournament,” Vance said.

Kelsey Jones was OSD’s assistant coach for the robotics teams.

For more information about Oklahoma School for the Deaf, please visit or phone 580-622-4900.


Oklahoma School for the Deaf’s Thunderbolts robotics team won a national championship at the VEX IQ Challenge: (from left) OSD Head Coach Kym Vance, Jarven Reininger, Russell Fewel and OSD Assistant Coach Kelsey Jones.

For more information

Jody Harlan, DRS Communications Director

Cell: 405-203-1318 

Last Modified on Jun 08, 2022